Wednesday, November 10, 2004


In discussions I have with people on the subject of worldviews, it often comes down to "what's yours?" or "what are your beliefs?" to which the answer to the latter question is generally "very few."

The reason this is true is because more of an emphasis is put on practice than "having the correct beliefs" which I'll call the "believe X" approach for short. We do not want to act as though something were true if it might be true or might not be true- we want to act well based on what we truly have awareness. Moreover there's another possibility associated with the "believe X" approach: the potential to carry out diabolical acts based on not being aware of the consequences.

Take for example, abortion. To claim that a zygote has the same status as a born human is to basically deny the reality of zygotes (2/3 of which never make it to implantation on a uterine wall no matter what) nor born humans (who have tangible needs for food, clothing, shelter, companionship, learning, etc.) They are not, by any stretch of the imagination, the same. To make this equivalence one must have an idea of a human being that closes off the reality of what born humans are, and so allows for very real violence to be done to people. Thus the absolutist "pro life" position is really quite unethical, and it is no wonder that the most ardent advocates for "pro life" are very often the very people who have no qualms about gutting social programs and replacing them with "charities" that have failed so miserably historically.

Practice is very important then to be able not only to discern the very real differences that exist in life, as well as the sameness, but also how the difference and sameness interact with each other, and to basically help based on this perception. Taking the above example of absurdly radical pro-lifers, sooner or later someone is going to figure out how to encapsulate this into an easily understood message that resonates with the heartland, because as Kos notes nobody wants your pharmacist to be your moral arbiter.

No rhetorical gimmickry's involved ("you can't tolerate my intolernce?") just hard work.

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